Febuary 2003

Child porn case tutor is spared prison

A TUTOR who downloaded child porn from the internet has escaped jail, but his career is in ruins.

Bachelor Ruben Sorli, 41, was banned by a judge from having any contact with children under 16 unless accompanied by an adult over 21.

A court had heard defence claims that self-employed Sorli’s business had been left in ruins after the case made front page headlines.

Before the offences came to light, he was earning £20,000 a year but his income was now £21 a week.

Sentencing, Judge Raymond Bennett, who read out Court of Appeal sentences for child pornography cases, said the starting guidelines for such offences was prison.

He added the defendant was said in his pre-sentence report to be at low risk of reoffending.

Sorli was not assessed as presenting a risk of harm to children.

Sorli, who lives with his Spanish parents in Scott Street, Padiham, had admitted five specimen charges of making indecent photos of a child, committed between January and November, last year.

He had been committed for sentence by magistrates. The defendant was given a three-year community rehabilitation order to include attendance on the Sex Offenders’ Programme. He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.

The judge ordered the forfeiture of the hard drive of Sorli’s computer as well as the photos seized by police.

Sorli was arrested as part of an international crackdown on child pornography offences, Burnley Crown Court was told.

The arrest was part of Operation Ore, in which police had been targeting alleged users of pay-per-view websites based in America.

The inquiry began after information was passed to British police from the FBI in the United States.

A localised Lancashire investigation was codename Operation Nickel.

Sorli, a private tutor, taught maths and English to children from the Burnley and Padiham areas at his home.

The court was told Sorli’s computer was seized after police raided his home. Officers found 45 obscene child images when it was examined.